PAI sees prevailing passion for posters with $1.8M sale; Rare Posters Auction LXXXIX on March 26 realized multiple new world record sales.
Poster Auctions International’s (PAI) first sale of the year, on March 26, finished at $1,841,160. Rare Posters Auction LXXXIX evidenced the continued passion for collecting vintage posters, especially rare and seldom seen lithographs.
Jack Rennert, President of PAI, said, “We are once again humbled by the enthusiasm displayed by our clients at auction. Despite the recent banking insecurity felt around the world, poster lovers were eager to bid on their favorite lots and grow their collections.”
Once again, works by Alphonse Mucha were a major draw for collectors. As was the case at auction in July, 2022, his 1902 The Stars decorative panels were the top sale with a winning bid of $114,000 (est. $70,000-$90,000). Several works by the Belle Époque master achieved new record sales, including his 1896 Zodiac, which was won for $28,800 (est. $17,000-$20,000); the 1897 La Trappistine went for $31,200 (est. $20,000-$25,000); the 1896 Lorenzaccio sold for $19,200 (est. $12,000-$15,000); his 1908 Leslie Carter topped out at $20,400 (est. $8,000-$10,000); and his 1912 Sixth Sokol Festival received a top bid of $72,000 (est. $25,000-$30,000). Two original works were highly sought after: his 1900 Printemps : Pocket Watch design well surpassed its estimate of $30,000-$40,000 for a win of $78,000, and an original drawing of his friend Paul Gauguin was secured for $31,200 (est. $15,000-$20,000).
All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.
Bids were similarly enthused for works by Leonetto Cappiello, the father of modern advertising. Further auction records were broken with his 1902 Pur Champagne / Damery-Epernay, which was won for $5,760 (est. $3,000-$4,000); the 1903 Absinthe Gempp Pernod was secured for $26,400 (est. $14,000-$17,000); and the ebullient 1920 Mistinguett / Casino de Paris secured a winning bid of $20,400 (est. $17,000-$20,000). Two impressive six-sheet billboards also captivated collectors: his 1923 Royat earned a winning bid of $12,000 (est. $10,000-$12,000) and his 1924 Alcool de Menthe Ricqlès went for $15,600 (est. $12,000-$15,000).
Several classics of the Art Nouveau era fared well at auction. Privat Livemont’s infamous 1896 Absinthe Robette was sold for $24,000 (est. $20,000-$25,000). Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen’s 1895 Chocolats / Thés Cie Française was secured for $33,600 (est. $20,000-$25,000), and his iconic 1894 Lait pur Stérilisé earned a win of $16,800 (est. $12,000-$15,000). From Ludwig Hohlwein, the extremely rare 1912 Besuchet den Tiergarten charmed collectors, leading to a winning bid of $13,200 (est. $8,000-$10,000). The very seldom seen 1901 design, Paris-Périgueux Nouveautés, by Léon Hingre, was captured for a bid of $6,600 (est. $4,000-$5,000). George Bottini’s historic 1898 image of print collecting for Ed. Sagot inspired multiple bids, leading to a win of $4,800 (est. $2,500-$3,000).
For the pioneer of lithography, Jules Chéret, collectors were most excited about his rare posters and his paintings. Two tender works in oil of women reading performed especially well; one sold for $20,400 (est. $17,000-$20,000) and the other was won for $14,400 (est. $14,000-$17,000). In terms of lithographs, bidders vied for his 1875 Folies-Bergère / Charmeuse de Serpents, which secured a top bid of $3,840 (est. $2,000-$2,500); the rare 1890 Exposition des Maîtres Japonais went for $3,840 as well (est. $1,700-$2,000); the 1877 Vogue Universelle / Dr. Nicolay earned a top bid of $4,080 (est. $1,400-$1,700).
Fans of Art Deco had plenty of top posters to bid on. Geo Ham’s Monaco Grand Prix 1933 was sold for $20,400 (est. $17,000-$20,000) and his Monaco / 22 Avril 1935 was won for $19,200 (est. $17,000-$20,000). Paul Colin’s esteemed 1929 portfolio, Le Tumulte Noir, was swept up for $36,000. From Charles Loupot, a 1929 maquette for Café Precia wowed bidders, resulting in a win of $18,000 (est. $8,000-$10,000). A. M. Cassandre’s renowned 1938 Normandie / 60 Voyages sailed away with a top bid of $13,200 (est. $7,000-$9,000), while Carl Moos’ stylish ca. 1917 Paul Rückmar strutted its way to a win of $8,400 (est. $7,000-$9,000).
One War & Propaganda image stood out from the rest at this sale: the anonymous 1917 Vote for Woman Suffrage incited passionate bidding, leading to a $7,200 sale (est. $2,000-$2,500). Another design to receive unexpected adoration was Hipolito Hidalgo de Caviedes’ 1925 San Sebastian, which swiftly surpassed its estimate of $1,700-$2,000 for a total of $5,280.